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Photographers' Peak Area

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Aquarium Rock 
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Photographers' Peak Area  

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Location: 43.8427, -103.5582 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Andrew Gram, Peter Gram, Greg Parker, Andy Busse, Mike Housiaux, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Peter Gram on Jul 9, 2002
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An old smooch shot of J-Sexy and I early on in our...


This area holds a high concentration of fine routes. The four main formations found here are Photographer's Peak, Aquarium Rock, Icehouse Rock, and the Great Wall. The first three are immediately next to the parking area, and the Great Wall is a short distance away.

Be ready for both bolted routes and trad routes, as there are classic lines for either liking here. Some of the best routes here are the Conn route on Aquarium (5.3), Four Little Fishies (5.9), Beyond the Door (5.10-), and Under Exposure (5.7). Each route has a fixed rappel, often requiring double ropes.

Getting There 

Drive to Sylvan Lake and pay the entrance fee. These rocks are the prominent formations east of the lake and also the closest rock to the Sylvan Lake store. Drive past the main parking lot, then continue straight at the junction which drives around Sylvan Lake's east side. Park a short distance past this junction at a small pulloff on the left side of the road at the base of the rocks.

Climbing Season

Weather station 6.4 miles from here

19 Total Routes

['4 Stars',5],['3 Stars',11],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Photographers' Peak Area:
Conn Route   5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a     Trad, 2 pitches, 150'   Aquarium Rock
Cowboy Jazz   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Photographer's Peak
Over Exposure   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Photographer's Peak
Just Another Pretty Face   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 60'   Photographer's Peak
Four Little Fishies   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 130'   Aquarium Rock
Sea Monkeys   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 130'   Aquarium Rock
Leaning Jowler   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch   Aquarium Rock
Modeling in the Nude   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Photographer's Peak
Aggressive Tendoncies   5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a     Trad, 2 pitches, 250'   Photographer's Peak
Browse More Classics in Photographers' Peak Area

Featured Route For Photographers' Peak Area
Leading the first ascent of "Four Little Fish...

Four Little Fishies 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  SD : Custer State Park : ... : Aquarium Rock
A great straighforward sport route. Follow the trail from the parking area north, it will turn uphill towards the left side of Aquarium Rock. The route starts on the left side of the gully at the base of a slab. Scramble the slab to the first clip. Fire straight up the well-worn face past five or six bolts, followed by a long runout on easy low angle terrain with one horn to sling. A one 60m rappel from the backside. A short downclimb is necessary to reach the rappel bolts....[more]   Browse More Classics in SD

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By Anonymous Coward
Dec 9, 2002
The Conn route on Aquariun Rock is a fun easy starter. This gives beginners a good place to start placing pro and leading an easy route. It can be done in two pitches, but three is also done just to get practice in in building anchors. Once the top is reached, enjoy the good view of Sylvan Lake, then a small 7-10 foot down climb is required to get to the rappel bolts. It is a one rope rappel off the back side of Aquarium Rock. Happy Climbing!!
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